Participation in the 3rd West Asia Conference

A delegation from Derasat, Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International, and Energy Studies, attended the West Asia Conference on 5 and 6 September in New Delhi, India.

The conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) focused on ‘Changing Security Paradigm in West Asia: Regional and International Responses.’

A presentation was given by a member of the Bahrain delegation on behalf the Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Ismael, a Research Assistant at Derasat on ‘Instability in Iraq and Yemen: Common Roots, and Potential Remedies.’

The conference opened by HE Shri M.J. Akbar, Honourable Minister of State for External Affairs of the Government of India, comprised a diverse range of participants from countries all across the West Asian region including HE President Amine Gemayel, Former President of the Republic of Lebanon and leading figures from the diplomatic, political and academic sphere.

During the presentation, Bahrain’s commitment to the stability and security of all nations was stressed, especially that of neighbouring countries. The paper outlined that the Kingdom of Bahrain believed stability, security, self-determination and independence are the only pillars on which a stable state could be built to enact an enduring peace.  The speech further stressed the importance of the brotherly nations of Iraq and Yemen to the regional security architecture, and Bahrain’s commitment to helping ensure the stability of the two neighbouring countries.

Observations emphasized the importance of Gulf security to West Asian and global prosperity, and the danger that war by proximity has on the region. It also highlighted that Iran was at the heart of exporting terrorism and instability in the region. This is due to Iran’s geo-strategic prosperity being dependent on instability to allow the Islamic Republic to export the revolution and build a regional hegemony. The lengths that Iran and her proxies, such as Hezbollah, are willing to go in pursuit of expansionism was shown through Hezbollah’s involvement in Latin American drug trading or the Houthi’s use of human shields, among other examples.

The paper then introduced the concept of external state capture, by which Iran is attempting to take control of the Iraqi government by having undue influence over Iraq’s affairs. This was epitomized by Iran using basic services, such as electricity, to hold the Iraqi government hostage, without any regard to the well-being of the people. Similarly, it showed how Iran was attempting an illegitimate military takeover of Yemen, at the expense of the brotherly Yemeni people.

In concluding the presentation, it was underlined the support the Kingdom of Bahrain and other moderate Arabian Gulf states have provided to the Yemeni and Iraqi government, and that the only solution to ending the crises is to recognize and stop Iran’s destabilizing role in the region. Both the re-imposition of sanctions on the Iranian regime and the establishment of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition are steps in the right direction.

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